Ian Adam shares some of his favourite pictures from the 2009 season. He also offers fascinating insights into
the life of a track photographer and tells us which 'flasher' never needs to join the scrum in front of the GP rostrum.
Ian has a DVD of his pictures available, details can be found at the bottom of the article.
"Great article, Bill, It's good to
see such support for Scotland to return to World events but, as you say, we are not yet good enough to take on the major nations but we should
be given a chance to fight it out against the "minnows" of World Speedway until we find our feet again. Yes, we had some great home-grown world
class riders back in the '70s who rode in FIM events and with a bit of luck and dedication, we could reach those heights again. We even reached the
World Best Pairs Final in Malmo, Sweden, so we couldn't have been too bad!
As much as I love Scotland, I believe that once a rider reaches a
certain standard in Scotland, if he wants to progress in his career, he has to move south and ride for an English team and live south of the border.
The advantages are many. Less time on the road driving to away matches, so more time can be spent in the garage or the gym. Easier to go along
and watch the top riders at other tracks when you have a night off and pick up hints and tips in the pits and by talking to other riders. More
opportunities to get guest and open bookings as why should a promoter pay travelling expenses to bring a rider down from Scotland when he can
book a more local rider and save some hard-earned cash?
The Scotland v England Under 21 Series we had a few years ago,
which you mentioned was, I thought, the beginning of our long road back to International recognition but although in my eyes,
the meetings were a success, the Series was not continued the following year. I am sure that Speedway fans north of the border
would love to see Scotland back in action and, as you say, it creates the impossible,.......Glasgow and Edinburgh fans united in
wanting the same team to win! I know that from a rider's point of view, that when you buckle on that St.Andrew's Cross body colour,
you feel like Superman coming out of the telephone box, (!) and every Scot rides even harder if that is possible.
I also agree that
"Team GB", i.e., Great Britain, should be called, "England" as the riders are all English and no Scot, Welshman or Irishman is good
enough to break into that team at the moment, so why not give England some praise for their exploits and let the other countries of the U.K.
try to match them. Once again, it seems to be an FIM decision and another reason why Scotland are no longer recognized as a nation by the FIM.
Anyway, we will keep plugging away and try to get some bookings for Scotland. I mean, surely a Scottish team would be more preferable to have in
an Open Meeting than Joe Bloggs Seven vs Charley Farley's Angels? Perhaps Glasgow, Edinburgh & Berwick could stage a series along with say,
Newcastle & Workington? Fingers crossed and let's see what 2010 holds for us! "
"Really interesting piece would love to hear
more of your recollections of Reg Duval as a Liverpool rider and promoter. Reg is still going strong and attended the New Milton Speedway Bash in
Dorset this year."
"I've just read
comments about the grand prixs, I used to go to a majority of the foreign ones and the British of course, but now I don't bother! It's overpriced and
the amount of 'the tracks slick or the racing and passing was pitiful' comments just doesn't pull the strings anymore. You're seeing the same old
riders meeting in meeting out except the wild cards and it's becoming repetitive. If we get any more Polish tracks as venues isn't that turning it into
the Polish instead of the world championship? It's a shame that the fans who keep certain officials in an accustomed lifestyle dont get a greater
say in things, instead we have to dance to the tune of the business man who cares about cash but not the sport."
Cary Cotterman brings us pictures of the Perris Auto Speedway in Los Angeles. This is a separate venue
from the Perris Raceway we've featured previously. As you'll see the track is far from conventional.
Gary is a Glasgow Tigers fan and wishes he'd been around to see 'Atomic' Tommy Miller's rise to fame. He does admit that
Powderhall, former home of the 'auld enemy', was one of his favourite tracks.
Threat to Costa Mesa By Richard Austin
There exists the real possibility the Southern California speedway track located on site at the Orange County fairground is in jeopardy, next year might be the last year the track is in operation, or indeed 2009 might be the last.
Due to the extreme budget problems facing the State of California, the current recession, unemployment and years of past mismanagement of the States finances. The State of California, is seeking all measures to immediately raise money, selling off State owned lands etc. The State governor�s office has estimated the 150- acre Orange County Fairground properties are valued at between $96 million and $180 million.
At a recent public hearing 9 November 2009, dozens of Costa Mesa residents, fairground venders and horse owners, voiced fears that if the fairgrounds are sold, the property could be developed for resident or commercial use. The State has given bidders until Jan. 8, 2010, to submit all offers. The final sale if it goes through is estimated to take place in October 2010.
Todd Kurtz's website has been redesigned to mark his signing for the Newport Wasps. You'll find it at
"I agree with all the
points. What I would like to see is a world championship on the same lines as the U21 for all. Then the winner of the GP series would be GP Champion. I
know it would possibly mean two champs but who cares at least all riders would have something to aim for without being in the select group."
"In reply to Jim Baird's query re the track record
holder at Love St Paisley at the end of their too short era, if you heard an earth tremor from the other side of the world it was probably ex Lion Mike
Fullerton exploding. I know Mike is rightly very proud of the fact that he was the fastest ever rider around the Paisley track and I can say with
absolute certainty that he was, as in addition to being the club statto for two years I was also doubling up as timekeeper the night he broke the record.
Pogo Collins certainly had a nasty habit of scoring near/full maximums at Love St but he doesn't actually hold the record for fastest man around the
391 metre track. "
Bill Elliot argues the case for a tartan team to participate in the World's premier
team competition. He also takes a look back at an era in which the Scots did take on all-comers on (almost)
"Brilliant article, VERY funny.
I never missed a home match and trundled round the UK watching our heroes getting some right gubbings, but I still hanker back to those halcyon days.
Stuart Mountford was another one who couldn't catch a bus, but if he trapped, he was bloody quick. I seem to remember Stoke protesting as well
about the track. Can't remember who finished up with the track record, was it Brian Collins ? My cousin, Grigor Grant, was the supporters club
secretary...a mere lad of 16....Have started going along to watch the Monarchs, but it's just not the same....thanx for bringing back some great
"Sorry to take issue with someone else's
recollections, but when was the time that passing suddenly stopped in speedway? When was the era when we had all this overtaking? Was it the 40s, or
the 60s, or the 80s? I remember some dreadful meetings on either over prepared tracks or too wet tracks at Belle Vue in the 1970s where nobody
passed anybody. Engines might be upright or laydown, and leathers might have become kevlars, but if there is one constant in speedway it's that
speedway fans will tell you tracks had more dirt on them and there was more passing in "the old days". I know, I've been hearing it for forty years."
"Yeah, Rock on Tracy!! I
agree with you 100%, bring back the one off World Finals. 20 heats of fast and furious racing, let everyone have their 15 mins of fame. I mean this
GP lark is a total farce, Jason Crump was World Champion this year after heat 12 of the last GP round and the year before Mr Pedersen was Champion
after heat 3!! First round in this year's GP was won by the IMPRESSIVE Emil Sayfutdinov he scored 17 pionts and SECOND place Freddie Lindgren scored
19 points!! Yes Speedway really knows how to shoot itself in the foot. Something else Speedway needs to get rid of, this GRAND FINAL RACE. Some guy
rides his heart out and scores 15 POINT MAXIMUM, then goes into the Final and some bloke who scored 10, gets the jump on him and he's declared the
Winner. No wonder Speedway isn't taken seriously."
Ian Gill has produced a new book in aid of injured riders. The book, which will hopefully
be the first in a series, catches up with former Long Eaton riders and tells the tale of their whole careers.
This first issue covers Ivan Blacka, Peter Wrathall, Dave Harvey and Vic White. In this article you can read
an extract from the interview with Vic.
John first saw speedway at Old Meadowbank in Edinburgh. Dougie Templeton and Reidar Eide are amongst his favourite riders
over the years.
Charles McKay has done his annual calculation of the amounts earned by each Grand Prix rider this season. You can see the results
on Jeff Scott's blog on the Methanol Press website. When you see the figures
quoted you do wonder why the majority bother to compete in the series.
"I think this sums up the GP series nicely. My main criticism is that it is very much more a money game than a one-off final. Any serious contender needs to have a large back-up team and ample resources/ sponsorship to support them over umpteen rounds in s everal different countries. Unfortunately, it is only the select few that fit the bill and so it is always going to be a case of the same old faces. While the powers to be (including Sky) have sold us the virtues of the GP Series, most people I know pine for the old format of a one-off final."
"This article brings back some happy
memories. Although I am a Cradley fan, I regularly went to Elfield Park between 1990-92. I loved the place, it reminded me of a mini Odsal but without the
stands. I remember seeing the Hungarian team there and also a touring team of Swedes. Rumour has it, that there was an underground stream underneath
the first bend. Is anything left of the track? Not been anywhere near, since 92?"
"I remember Sandor Levai losing his
rag riding for Newport at Belle Vue after getting excluded for breaking the tapes, then after being refused entry into the rerun riding full tilt into the
tapes and ripping them assunder. My old programmes tell me it must have been 29th August 1970. Bizarrely the incident wasn't even during the
match proper but during one of the second half Heinz 57 Club Trophy heats. Just shows the passion that Sandor will always be remembered for."
"I look forward to reading the
'It's all about feature' each week. Amazing that so many people share the same thoughts: they wish they had seen Peter Craven in action and they would
love to see return of the old-style World Championship."